Single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) are an emerging sensor technology capable of detecting and time-tagging individual photons with picosecond precision. Despite (or perhaps, due to) these capabilities, SPADs are considered specialized devices suitable only for photon-starved scenarios, and restricted to a limited set of niche applications. This raises the following questions: Can SPADs operate not just in low light, but in bright scenes as well? Can SPADs be used not just with precisely controlled active light sources such as pulsed lasers, but under passive, uncontrolled illumination like cellphone or machine vision cameras?
I will describe our recent work on designing computational imaging techniques that (a) enable single-photon sensors to operate across the entire gamut of imaging conditions including high-flux scenes, and (b) leverages SPADs as passive imaging devices for ultra-low light photography. The overall goal is to transform SPADs into all-weather, general-purpose sensors capable of both active and passive imaging, across photon-starved and photon-flooded environments.
Mohit Gupta is an Assistant Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received B. Tech in Computer Science from IIT-Delhi, Ph.D. from the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, and was a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University. He directs the WISION Lab with research interests broadly in computer vision and computational imaging. He has received best paper honorable mention awards at computer vision and photography conferences in 2014 and 2019. His research is supported by NSF, ONR, DARPA, Sony, Intel and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.